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13 Innovative Ways to Cook in a Dorm Room Slideshow

13 Innovative Ways to Cook in a Dorm Room Slideshow

You can avoid the dining hall with these hacks

13 Innovative Ways to Cook in a Dorm Room

At the dining hall, it’s easy to heap massive portions on your plate, and a nice green salad and grilled chicken isn’t half as appealing as endless pizza and cookies. If you’re looking to avoid the much-dreaded “freshman 15” (or the ol’ college 40), then cooking for yourself is an absolute must.

However, many colleges require that you live in a dorm room for at least your first year of school. Most dorms won’t allow hot plates or open flames, and you’re certainly not going to have a stove in your tiny double-occupancy dorm. So, how are you supposed to cook for yourself? The answer, my friends, lies in bringing along a few key kitchen gadgets and getting creative with them.

Coffee Burner

Of course, no college student can survive without a coffee maker. But in addition to brewing a much-needed cup of java, a coffee burner can act as a hot plate. Place nonstick foil on the burner, turn on your coffee maker, and instantly be able to make pancakes, fry eggs, or even slowly (and carefully) cook meats.

Coffee Pot

After you’re done cooking breakfast on your coffee maker’s burner, use the coffee pot to make even more dorm room cuisine. You can hard-boil eggs by putting the eggs in the coffee pot, running water through the filter, and steeping your eggs in the water for 8 to 12 minutes. A coffee pot can also be used topoach chicken, cook rice, and steam vegetables.

Electric Kettle

If you need to get noodles boiled quickly, an electric kettle is the way to go. But in addition to getting your ramen cooked in a jiffy, an electric kettle can make a homemade soup. Add dry noodles, vegetables, spices, and water in to an electric kettle and have an immensely flavorful broth.

Instant Pot

Jeramey Lende/

A pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker/porridge maker, sauté/browning pan, steamer, yogurt maker and stockpot warmer all in one, an Instant Pot is the must-have for any dorm room kitchen. You can do pretty much anything in an Instant Pot, but we recommend you start with these 21 breakfast recipes.


We’re sure you thought that you’d be going to highly important meetings in college, so you brought along an iron and ironing board for all those suits. But instead, you sit around eating. Use that iron to your advantage now by making grilled cheese, paninis, and pressed quesadillas.


Darryl Brooks/

These individual coffee makers are a lifesaver. Not only can you get a quick caffeine fix, but running just water through your Keurig will give you water at the perfect temperature for cooking oatmeal or bringing a pouch of instant rice to life.

Food Processor

A small food processor can help you eat healthy. Make fresh salsa, craft some homemade hummus, or grind up some nut butter for healthy snacking options during late night study sessions.



With a mug and a microwave, truly anything is possible. Cook up aquick quiche for a healthy and filling breakfast, or celebrate the end of finals week with a single-serve cake made in a mug.

No-Bake Desserts

If you’re anything like we were in college, you know sweets are the only way to get through a long night of essay writing. If you can’t bake anything and don’t have a mug in sight for a microwavable delight, skip the packaged cookies and consider a no-bake dessert, like one of these 11 amazing treats.

Personal Blender

A small, single use blender can be a real lifesaver in college. Need a quick and healthy way to fuel your mornings? Whip up a smoothie. Need a sweet treat to lure that cutie from across the hall into your room? Make milkshakes! If you can blend it, you can make it.

Rice Cooker

Rice cookers aren’t just for cooking rice (though their name may suggest that). Bring this utilitarian device with you to college and steam vegetables, whip up a hearty batch of chicken noodle soup, or bake a cake! The possibilities are endlessly delicious.

Slow Cooker

What can’t you make in a slow-cooker? This appliance can help you make breakfast, dinner, dessert, party dishes, and everything in between. Bring a slow-cooker with you to college and you’ll honestly never have to go to the dining hall (and you’ll have plenty of free time to study).